See how we restored an antique door, that had been painted three times, to its original wood finish.
As far as tedious projects go, this one may have been the worst.
Wait. Actually, the time I decided that every five panel door, window, baseboard, cabinet and crown molding in this ENTIRE old house should be RE-painted from off white to bright white, that was the worst.
But this, THIS, dear friends, comes in as a close second.
I don’t actually recommend doing this project at all. I bet that is the first time you have heard that from a DIY blogger.
But for real, I love the transformation, and I am glad we did it, but ask me if I will ever be able to convince my husband to do the other side of the door.
Somehow, in my rush to get this done, I didn’t take a proper before picture.
Yeah, I regret that.
But here she is laying on a couple of saw horses in our garage.
At this point we didn’t know how many layers of paint we were up against. If this door is original to the house, which we suspect it is, you are looking at a piece that is five years short of a centenarian. I imagined it had been painted a lot over the course of its lifetime.
I stole a picture from an old home tour so you could sort of kind of see how it looked before.
I did like the white, because, you know, I always like white, but I didn’t like that it had no contrast with the white house.
Such a beautiful old door should really stand out and be a focal point, right?
We started out by painting on a thick coat of Citristrip.
So, then, we just took a cloth to it and all the paint wiped right off.
I wish that were the case.
We let it sit for about 30 minutes and then took a paint scraper to it, to peel off as much as we could the first go-round.
It appeared that the door had only been painted three times. First, white, then purple, (from the same lady who painted our home like a Mexican restaurant), and then white again, by me.
Yes, me. Guilty. I didn’t want a purple door.
So, it actually took another round of Citristrip and several hours of elbow grease to get to this point right here.
But, it still didn’t look great and, because of all the grooves on the strips down the middle, I knew we had a looooong way to go.
We did another coat of the paint stripper, and let it sit for several hours, to see if that would encourage the paint to come off a little better.
Well, that proved to be a bad idea, because it kind of dried up, and we ended up having to scrape it off with the paint.
I would recommend the third round of paint stripper, but only leaving it for 30 minutes to an hour, not all day.
At this point, we were finding that there was going to be no easy way to get the paint off the details in the middle, by the glass.
We ended up taking a very thin flat head screwdriver, and running it along the grooves, one by one.
With A LOT of hours of work, over a couple week’s time, the beautiful wood beneath the paint, was finally revealed.
Good thing we had a locking screen door, and mild weather, to get us through this!
We wiped it down a few times with Mineral Spirits to remove any residue from the project.
We were tossing around the option of staining it a different color, but I just loved the natural wood so much, we decided to leave it.
The next obstacle we were up against was the door hardware.
It was all scratched up and rusty, and we couldn’t find the right replacement.
I did what any other impatient DIYer would do…
To make the lock match, we taped it off and hit it with a couple coats of spray paint also.
I may eventually dig around and find different hardware, but for now, this solution will do.
I just love the way the door stands out against our white house.
It is the perfect addition to our new and improved farmhouse porch.
If you are new to my blog, you can read all about the farmhouse porch renovation we are in the middle of right now, and see the before pictures, HERE.
The big reveal will be happening very soon, like next week!
I can’t wait!
But for now, this is your little sneak peak. 😉
As you will see in the photo below, our door wasn’t free from scratches and imperfections, and the paint solution wasn’t ideal, but I still think it adds so much curb appeal for our little farmhouse!
Thank you for stopping by, friends!
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